Well, we've got an exciting day ahead, taking a brief break from the study of Daniel with a wonderful message called God's Wonderful Plan, as we open the word together for you at 866-899-WORD and dewonline.org.
And now, Dr. Don Wilton. I'm going to ask you to open your Bibles to the book of Luke and Chapter 1. Chapter 1. I don't know what the word that I'm looking for today, I want to say excited. I'm very deeply in my heart, grateful that I have an opportunity to share some things with you today about God's wonderful plan that run deep. I want to speak to you today about God's wonderful plan. So I want to read to you first of all, beginning Luke Chapter 1 and verse 1.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, said Luke, having followed all things closely for some time past to write an orderly account to you, most excellent Theophilus, in order that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Now I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to stop that reading right there. I want you to know my intention was to read all the way through to verse 38.
That was my intention. But I've got some deep things that I want to show you today. So when you start getting into verse 5, you begin to read this account that God has given to us concerning the Christmas child. And you read about Zachariah, this priest, and Elizabeth, who bore the child John, whom we know as John the Baptist. Remember John was the one who came out of the wilderness and went and told everybody that Jesus was about to arrive on the scene. And then of course, you get into the story that we know so well. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Joseph, who became her husband, the carpenter. So right at the beginning of the book of Luke, which has this wonderful narrative about the birth of Jesus, what I'm going to show you today is God's wonderful plan.
And here's the bottom line. God has designed everything to happen the way God intended for everything to happen long before it ever happened. My wife Karen has an eye, like many of you do, she has a wonderful ability to be able to look at a whole lot of nothing and see a whole lot of everything.
She can look at a room, for example, or a house, or a piece of property. And she can actually, in her creative mind, see what that can produce long before whatever it is, is produced. Now some, many people today, you're sitting, you're listening, and you're going through a journey in life today. The bottom line of all of this is I want you to really be encouraged because God has a plan for you.
God has you in the palm of His hand. God's wonderful plan, first of all, this is the first point. If you want to think about God's plan before it even began, this is before Jesus was born.
God's wonderful plan, first of all, was conceived in the heart of a loving God. At what point do you suppose that God is love? Did God become love or is He love? Has He always been love? This primary attribute of God always is. God doesn't grow. God has always been exactly who God is.
He didn't become love. That's who God is. And in fact, what Luke is trying to show us here about the Christmas narrative, if you just look at the very first verse of Luke chapter one, in as much as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of things that, now here's the word, have been accomplished among us. That little word accomplished is the word that we use to describe fulfillment, bringing to the table that which was already determined before it happened. And what Luke is saying here is that everything about this narrative, and by the way, that little word there in the first verse is a wonderful because it's a story. Many have undertaken to compile, that is to gather all the little bits and pieces about this narrative. A narrative is a story. It begins somewhere, it journeys, and it has a definitive focal ending point.
That's what a narrative is, to tell a narrative is to tell a story. This is the foreknowledge of God. This is God sovereign. This is God who from before the foundation of the world knows everything.
He knows us. Because in the Garden of Eden, God created male and female. In his image, he created them, both male and female, and they sinned against him. And that relationship with God was interrupted.
It was completely severed. And when God came down into the garden and he said, Adam, where are you? Like he didn't know where Adam was. And Adam was hiding because of his sin. That's what sin causes us to do, is to run away from a holy and a righteous God.
And so God killed an animal and shed the blood of that animal in order to use a skin to cover their nakedness. And from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God began to unpack the fulfillment of his plan because he is a God of love. God's love was never more greatly demonstrated for us right there in the Garden of Eden. Then when he came and he bothered, so to speak, to come back to these people who had so contradicted the very law of God, had so succumbed to what the devil had told them to do. And yet, because he's a loving God, he came and he said, I love you.
I want to have fellowship with you and I'm going to make it possible because this is my plan. So the first thing about God's plan, God's design, if you went back and I'm speaking in kind of a human terminology and said, you know, I'd like to speak to the architect of the birth of Jesus. The first part of that architectural design, that drawing before anything happened was the fact that God's wonderful plan was conceived in the heart of a loving God. Number two, God's wonderful plan was written down in an orderly manner. Now I've already spoken to you about that word narrative, but that does not necessarily imply order. But when you get down to verse three, just in case we miss it, God tells us something about the order with which these things occur. It seemed good to me also having followed all things closely for some times past to write an orderly account. Isn't that an amazing thing?
Let me tell you what I'm holding in my hand here. This is God's word. This is the Bible. And I've got in my hand here an orderly account that speaks to God's plan for my salvation. So this orderly account was designed by God for his purpose because God knew that as a human being, I have absolutely no means imaginable to be able to really work out how this all happened.
How am I supposed to figure this all out? I'm just a human being. Now in my human beingness, I become very impressed with my own capability, but I can tell you one thing that man will never do on his own. Man will never figure out the sovereign majesty of a holy and a righteous God because God is so big and so magnificent and so awesome.
How can you and I, how can man ever conceivably think about the things that pertain to a holy and a righteous God? So God said, don't you worry. I'll put it down in an orderly manner for you.
It's going to be as simple as one, two, three. So Luke's account, yeah, it's factual. Luke's account is historical.
Luke's account is chronological and Luke's account is simple. It's orderly. God's the God of order. And if you want to discover the orderliness of God's majesty, just go back to creation.
Day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, day six, day seven. God has always been the God of order and God's orderliness and the manner with which God ordered the events of Christmas in a chronological manner put down simply is designed with someone like me in mind. Otherwise, how I'm going to figure this all out now. I mean, if Jesus is God, well, God lives in heaven. So how does God become a baby or how did God get into the tummy of this mother called Mary to begin with? How do you explain that? And where did John come from?
Why is this connected to that? And you and I begin to get down into all the details of this incredible Christmas story. So God said, don't you worry about a thing. I'm just going to write it down in an orderly manner for you. God's plan. So you want to ask God for his architectural design. First thing you're going to see is that it was conceived in the heart of a loving God. It's his writing.
It's his drawing. Number two, you're going to discover that it's very orderly, very orderly. I tell you what, I haven't done much in the way of projects and that one of the things that I have loved, even in our own church, the manner with which our church has gone about all fixing up the heating and the air conditioning this year, it's amazing. And everything we've done is on track. We're on time.
It's all in place. Our people have been giving in unprecedented numbers. We're paying our bills. We haven't borrowed any money. We're completely debt free as a church, which is mind boggling. And we must never let that ever change.
We need to stay debt free. And if you and I were to go right now to David Dennis, our administrator, and to the men and women who work with these things in the church and say, let me see the plans. I will guarantee you because I've seen them. You're going to get a whole lot of stuff that is just flat out down the line, orderly.
Watch me. It's being done properly, right. Every I has been dotted and every T has been crossed. Every line is in place. Every pipe has been sealed. Every floorboard is being laid.
Every joint is being analyzed. What about God's wonderful plan? God's wonderful plan was conceived in the heart of a loving God. And it was written down in an orderly manner. But number three, God's wonderful plan was designed to provide absolute conviction.
Now this is, I love this one. Look at verse four. In order that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. You know, anybody not understand straight up down the line, average Southern English.
It's right there. Why all of this? It's designed to give every one of you absolute conviction.
This plan. I'm like that by nature. I've always been, you've been like that. We are like that. That's why we do things right in the church. That's why we just do it right. We do it in a, because when you do things right and proper, nobody's got any argument about it.
I mean the least, the least you can ask of politicians and people. Just, just do it right. Just be honest. Just do it right. Just put it down.
I'm, I'm like that by nature. I've done a little study in my life. When I did master's degrees, I would put everything down. When I did my PhD, I remember sitting there and I remember designing everything and putting it down. When I began that PhD, all those years of study and I knew what lay ahead of me. My wife will tell you, you could have walked into my study and it would be one, two, three, four, five. I knew exactly when I was, how I was. I'm like that as a pastor.
I'm sorry to break the news to you. I thrive on a hyper discipline. There are some things that are not options for me. In my life, it's not like, well, I'll sit around if I feel like it. There are, there are responsibilities and duties and places and people and events and occurrences and meetings and preparations that are not options. My preparing for Sunday morning is not an option for me. It's not, well, you know what? I think I'll just do that on Sunday morning at eight o'clock and nothing comes in the way of these things. Nothing. And so in order to do that, I, my weeks are like this is Monday and Tuesday.
I know as best as I can, even though I'm a pastor and the phone goes at all different times of the day, I know that there are things that I have to be disciplined about and what it produces in me is an absolute conviction about what I'm doing. You know, maybe some of you precious people looking at me today, you need to reevaluate your own life. You're living in a hodgepodge.
Everything's going at the same time. You're trying to do too much. You've got to make good choices. You've got to settle down.
You've got to draw the line. You've got to be able to write things down. If you cannot write it, you'll never do it. If all you're doing is thinking about it, it will never be done. It was designed to provide absolute conviction and the Holy Spirit helps us.
Yep. We read about it, we validate it, and then we apply it. I tell you how I apply God's wonderful plan is through the practice of my own life. I can see the fruit of God's wonderful plan.
This amazing design. Number four, God's wonderful plan was aligned to include all sinful people. Now just get ahold of this folks. This is God's wonderful plan about Jesus and what he did was he brought his wonderful plan concerning Jesus and he lined it up through a series of sinful people. So in the verses that we'll be reading over the next couple of weeks, who have we got here?
We've got Zachariah. Well, he was a priest. He was a clergyman. We've got Elizabeth. What can we say about Elizabeth? She was a precious housewife.
She was just a lovely lady, sweet mommy, precious mother. Oh, what about Mary? I've often wondered why it is that God used a single adult in a way like this.
Don't kid yourself. When everything that happened to Mary happened to Mary, she was a single adult. God brought something to bear upon all of us through the life of Mary. Joseph, carpenter, businessman. He was probably chairman of the chamber of commerce there in Nazareth.
We don't know a lot about, but I mean this man, he was obviously a man of means. Oh, now what about John? Uh stinky John.
John arrived. I mean, can you imagine? I mean, the guy didn't use old spice if you're ever wondering about it.
I mean, I drink coffee and I got to be real careful when I walk around because I know I kill somebody every now and again, particularly when I've just had a cup of my homemade brew. But can you imagine the stinky breath that John had? He went out there and he started to be used of God in a way. Who was John the Baptist? He was just another sorry sinner who wandered around, slept under a bridge, had nothing, knew nobody. He was a nobody from nothing and yet God used him. Now here's the bottom line folks. This was all part of God's plan.
You want to get the original papers? God's plan was aligned to include all sinful people. Number five, God's plan was announced by the same angel. You know, you get into verse 19 verse 26 and that wonderful Gabriel keeps popping up all over the place.
And we hear about him many other times, but I'm just limiting my comments today. It was amazing. And the Bible says very clearly here that the time came, the time came, the time came for the baby to be delivered. And the angel Gabriel, this one angel, God's plan was that one angel would come and would approach Elizabeth and Zachariah and Mary and then come to the heavenly host and say something to the shepherds out in the field. God began to speak in a very definitive way. The time had come for one announcement about one miracle whereby one baby would change just one life. That life was mine, but I got such great news for you today.
What Jesus has done for me, he'll do exactly the same thing for you. I'm back to my fourth point there because he aligned his plan to include all sinful people. I see them, don't you? The Zacharias and the Elizabeths and the Johns and the Marys and the Josephs and the Dons and the Yous and the Me's. But what about the rest of the Bible? How much time have we got to talk about Luke and Matthew and Mark, about John the apostle? What about Paul and Silas and Barnabas and Timothy?
And the list goes on. God, what about Todd? Where do you and I fit into this, Todd?
What is God saying to us? What about you, Michael? What about that incredible ministry that God has given to you, reaching out into the hearts of a precious people? A ministry that is impacting countless numbers of people and restoring them and setting them up. What about it, Michael?
What about it? What about God's plan? Where do you fit into God's plan, Michael? God's wonderful plan.
But there's one more, I'll close with this. God's wonderful plan was conceived in the heart of a loving God and was written down in an orderly manner and was designed to provide absolute conviction and was aligned to include all sinful people and was announced by the same angel that God's wonderful plan was focused on one baby boy. You know, when you get down into verse 31 through verse 33, God tells us about this one baby boy, gives us his name. His name is Jesus, gives us his rank.
His rank is the son of the most high and gives us his reign, tells us that this one, this Christ child will reign forever and forever and forever and forever. Isn't that amazing? God has a plan.
Now here's the bottom line. Have you tapped into God's plan for you? See, here's how you and I do that. We receive, we trust by faith, we give our lives to him. God is speaking, God's showing us his plan. He's laid it out before us and now it's time for us to accept what he's done, to receive. I'm inviting you to receive God's plan for you. I'm inviting you to give your life to Christ. Indeed, God does have a plan. As Dr. Wilson has said many, many times, but that plan is dependent on you to respond to the invitation of God. You know, there are opportunities we have to experience the joy of God that somehow is just seemingly out of our reach.
Well, that's the enemy that's blinding me, that truth. It is not out of your reach. You can make decisions today that will change your life for a journey. And the most important one is what Dr. Dodd is going to talk about next here on The Encouraging Word.
Are you ready? Would you pray this prayer with me right now? Dear God, I know that Jesus loves me and that he died on a cross for me. Today, I repent of my sin and I confess my sin to the Lord Jesus and I give him my heart and my life. In Jesus' name, I pray.
Amen. If you've prayed that prayer from your heart and you've given your life to Christ, I welcome you to the family of God. You are my brother, my sister in Christ. Let's get engaged together because we are connected together forever as believers in Christ.
And don't leave whatever you do because I'll be right back. Has the Lord spoken to you today? Have you heard more than just the wonderful South African brogue of our pastor, Dr. Don Wilton? If the Lord has stirred your heart to make a decision or perhaps you've already made that decision, let's share that decision together. Let us put resources in your hand that will help you grow as a new believer in Christ.
If that's your choice, that's your decision today. Or perhaps you're coming back to Christ and understanding what it's like to be received by a Father that has been pursuing you. God loves you and is using this broadcast to let you know he has a plan for your life. We'd love to pray with you right now at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673.
Or if you'd rather go keyboard to keyboard, we can do that as well on our website at www.tewonline.org. It's also a great place to discover how you can plug into our ministry and become an encourager. Hello my friends. I want to speak to you personally today from my heart to yours. I don't think there is ever a better or more important time for us to respond to our world by standing up for righteousness. Now with this in mind, I would like to invite you to become an encourager ministry partner. You see, together we can impact lives both now and for all time and all eternity. The encouraging word is a viewer and listener supported ministry. And to know that you are standing with me financially enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God has called me to do. So please call and just simply say, I want to become an encourager.
Thank you so much for helping me. If you'd like to discover more about becoming an encourager, the number is 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. Or meet us online at www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. Not only will you discover about how you can become an encourager to us, but especially if you find yourself in need of encouragement, we'd love to pray with you, pray for you, and put resources in your hands that will help change your life forever. Till next time, take care and God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-03 15:27:40 / 2023-01-03 15:36:53 / 9